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Linda, please post these tips and links as the 3rd, 4th, and 5th “links” on the opening page on

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20 LEADS PER WEEK = A JOB OFFER IN 90 DAYS: The formula for a successful job search is the “20 leads a week” rule. A “lead” means an ad you responded to, a networking contact you made, a company you researched received a targeted resume and letter from you with a follow up phone call, an alumni network you belong to has been informed you are in the market, your professional association job bank has your resume posted, you’ve alerted all previous managers and co-workers of your search, etc. Why 20 leads per week works? Do that math – if you generate 20 quality leads (as defined above) per week, that means you will develop 80 leads per month and 240 leads over a 90 day period. Lets assume even only 10% of those 240 quality leads becomes a phone or face to face interview = 24 interviews. If you have at least 24 interviews in 90 days, unless something is seriously wrong with how you interview (more on that later in these TIPs), you will land a new position…but you have to do the work. If you are employed, 20 leads a week can be a challenge, but a worthwhile investment of time. If you are unemployed, your new full time job is looking for a job, 8 hours a day, no exceptions, now is not the time to clean out the garage and respond to an ad or 2 a day….8 hours a day, 20 leads a week until you land a new position. NETWORKING IS THE BEST WAY TO FIND A JOB Only 20% of all open positions are advertised, that means 80% of all open jobs are in the “hidden” job ...

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20 LEADS PER WEEK = A JOB OFFER IN 90 DAYS:
The formula for a successful job search is the “20 leads a week” rule. A “lead” means an ad
you responded to, a networking contact you made, a company you researched received a
targeted resume and letter from you with a follow up phone call, an alumni network you belong
to has been informed you are in the market, your professional association job bank has your
resume posted, you’ve alerted all previous managers and co-workers of your search, etc. Why
20 leads per week works? Do that math – if you generate 20 quality leads (as defined above)
per week, that means you will develop 80 leads per month and 240 leads over a 90 day period.
Lets assume even only 10% of those 240 quality leads becomes a phone or face to face
interview = 24 interviews. If you have at least 24 interviews in 90 days, unless something is
seriously wrong with how you interview (more on that later in these TIPs), you will land a new
position…but you have to do the work. If you are employed, 20 leads a week can be a
challenge, but a worthwhile investment of time. If you are unemployed, your new full time job
is looking for a job, 8 hours a day, no exceptions, now is not the time to clean out the garage
and respond to an ad or 2 a day….8 hours a day, 20 leads a week until you land a new position.
NETWORKING IS THE BEST WAY TO FIND A JOB
Only 20% of all open positions are advertised, that means 80% of all open jobs are in the
“hidden” job market. The only way to find those jobs is to network. If you rely on just
responding to ads on-line or in the papers, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
HOW TO NETWORK
Networking is not easy. For starters you have to approach someone to ask for their assistance
and that is not easy for many people to do. Next you have to define what it is you’re asking of
this person (HINT: You are NOT asking them for a job). Lastly, you have to have your “2
minute drill” ready and rehearsed for a successful networking contact. The 2 minute drill is just
a quick summary of your experiences and job search plans. It needs to be no more than 2
minutes, because that is usually all the time you will get with a networking contact.
What are you asking of these networking contacts? You’re not asking them directly for a job,
you are asking them for help and their advice and guidance. Everyone likes to offer advice so
this is a comfortable way to get them to introduce you to their contacts. You need to alert your
circle of contacts (you have more than you think, and don’t forget the outside of works contacts
like school contacts, neighbors, friends and family).
You have to make the calls, set yourself a quota and stick to it to be successful.
You can also use email to make networking contacts if that is more comfortable.
See the
LINKS
page for websites that offer networking tips and ideas.
RESUMES
You will have more than 1 resume for your job search….one size fits all does not apply to
resumes. You will need to highlight certain experiences for certain positions and it will be hard
to do that with a generic resume.
No resume should be more than 2 pages, regardless of years of experience. List out only the
last 10-15 years anyway, more than that is somewhat irrelevant in most cases. The exception to
a 2 page resume would be for a position in academia or with a foreign based company hiring
for a US subsidiary. In those cases you may have to produce a “curriculum vitae” or CV, which
is a much lengthier document full of every job and everything you’ve ever done that is work
related.
Let’s start at the top:
EVERY resume should have name, address, home phone and mobile phone.
Email address is critical too, and now would be a good time to set up a job search specific
email address on Yahoo or Gmail or any of the free email host sites. Too often we see resumes
with email addresses that are not business-like.
John.smith@hotmail.com
= appropriate job
search email address.
mulehead@aol.com
== not appropriate….
A bullet pointed summary statement should be placed just below the address information.
Don’t waste valuable resume real estate with an “objective” statement such as “Looking for a
career opportunity with challenge in a growing company” – everyone is -- you need that space
to “market” your skills and experiences.
As you move down the resume page, the Careers Ministry team recommends a reverse
chronological resume format, starting with your most recent experiences first. On occasion, we
will recommend a “functional” resume for someone with a very lengthy job history or many
jobs in a short time period, but most employers find those difficult to assess so stick with the
reverse chronological.
Under each employer listed, note some information that will help the resume reader know if
your experiences at that company match what they need in terms of scope and scale. Be
accurate on dates of employment too, even fudging by a few months will be an issue if a
background check and employment verification is conducted by your new company.
For each employer listed, focus is on the relevant experience, contributions, and
accomplishments you've achieved. Examples with tangible numbers will help a great deal.
Bottom of page 2 is for Education and relevant certifications and memberships only. It is not
for hobbies, outside of work interests or even the statement “references available upon request”
(assumed). Remember – you need the space to market yourself.
See the
LINKS
page for resume writing resources. Here is a standard chronological resume
template you can find on Jobstar.org – an excellent resume writing resource.
COVER LETTERS
Cover letters still matter, even in the digital age. It’s your best way to “highlight” key aspects
of your skills and experiences tailored to the position for which you are applying.
Take a look at the
LINKS
page on this website for great cover letter resource websites.
WORKING WITH HUMAN RESOURCES
When you are trying to get into an organization or business, even if you are responding to an
ad, if you have responded to and are working exclusively with the Human Resources
department, you are limiting your opportunity to land that job. Our HR Professional insiders on
the Careers Ministry team can help you understand this by explaining what happens when
companies or businesses look to fill a position.
For starters, HR is the last to know when a job is opening, because the manager may have been
thinking about adding or replacing staff for months before he/she comes to HR to post or
advertise a position. HR also is given direction to fill the position with “exactly” the
requirements of the position as given to them by the manager. In many many cases, we have
been in situations where a hiring manager brought a resume to HR to have us set up an
interview for a candidate who contacted them directly. In those cases, the candidate’s
experience often doesn’t fit the specifications given to HR, but the manager saw something on
the resume they liked. For that reason alone….don’t just work with HR.
Be nice to HR – however – ultimately they may be who negotiates your offer. You can do that
in the ad response scenario through the “serendipity” method, ie, you see the ad, you find out
who the hiring manager is, respond to them directly, then also send a resume and cover letter to
HR letting them know you saw the ad and took the liberty of replying to the hiring manager
and HR at the same time.
When you are trying to network into a company, get to the leader of the department you want
to work in. If you’re an IT professional, talk to IT -- not HR.
WORKING WITH EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES & RECRUITERS
You may remember the old “Hill Street Blues” TV show and the sergeant who would send off
the officers for their daily assignments with the words “Be careful out there”.
Good advice
when dealing with agencies and recruiters. One of the members of the Careers Ministry team is
a former search firm “headhunter” and offers these tips on dealing with agencies and recruiters:
Remember the recruiter is working for the client, not for you. The client pays the fee.
Under
almost no circumstances should you pay the recruiter to find you a job.
The recruiter will take
your resume, but unless they have an active search underway for which you would be a fit,
they will likely file it away and rarely if ever look at it again. Time is money to a commission
based recruiter, so if you want them to keep you in mind, you will need to follow up regularly.
Regardless of what they tell you their arrangement is with the client, once you have made the
connection with the hiring manager or company, communicate with the company from that
point forward -- not the agency -- unless directed to do so by the company.
If the recruiter
offers to “re-do” your resume with information not exactly accurate or suggests you hide
something or make a false statement – reject that advice.
If the recruiter offers to negotiate
your compensation, don’t let them, they may well try to get a higher fee for themselves by
inflating your salary “demands” which could knock you out of the running entirely.
The good news about recruiters is they do have access to jobs not posted or advertised and may
be a good resource for you on what is going on in the market. If you get calls from headhunters
about a search they are working on, always, always take that call because the day may come
when they will remember you and call you about a position they have been assigned that is
perfect for you. The good headhunters out there always appreciate someone who is not looking
now, but was willing to help them in the past with leads for other searches.
USING THE INTERNET JOB BOARDS: Free and Paid Boards
On the “
LINKS
” page you will find many job related links you can use to respond to posted
positions and put your resume out there for employers to find. The problem with the big boards
like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and the others is they have become like the old Yogi
Berra saying: “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”. There are literally millions of
resumes posted on Monster.com these days and millions of job openings as well. To the extent
you use Monster and CareerBuilder and the others as just a part of your overall strategy, they
can be useful. Be careful about responding to blind ads, if you are currently employed, you
may wind up responding to your own employer’s postings. A better choice than the big boards
might be the specialty job boards such as we have listed for you in the
LINKS
section of this
website, categorized by type of job and location preference.
The free boards have been supplemented in recent years by job boards you have to pay to
access. These boards may have positions listed which are not posted on the free boards but can
be very expensive to join. Do your homework, look at the boards we list on the
LINKS
section
for our recommendations on which one are worth the price. Sign up for no more than 90 days
at a time, even if they dangle a longer “deal” for a longer sign up period.
Check back on the
LINKS
pages on a regular basis for new job boards we will be adding.
THE INTERVIEW:
FACE TO FACE TIPS
General interview tips:
Blue suit or dress, white shirt or blouse, red tie, polished dress shoes, neutral jewelry, neutral
make up, hairstyle and perfume. Always, always, always -- even if the interviewer tells you it’s
“business casual” dress – it’s not “your” business to be casual in…yet.
Be 15 minutes early….if you don’t know for sure where the interview location is, find out and
even test drive it the day before. Go to the restroom when you get there to freshen up.
Bring 2 extra flat, not folded, copies of your resume and if the interviewer seems like they
don’t have it in front of them, offer them a copy.
Bring a note book and pens to take notes during the interview…..in that note book have 3-5
prepared questions you will ask at the end of the interview or if the interviewer asks you if you
have questions. ALWAYS ask questions if and when prompted. Otherwise you may leave the
impression you are disinterested. ALWAYS ask, if you don’t know already, why the job is
open? If it’s a replacement, ask what happened to the previous person in the position. If it’s
new, ask why it was created.
Be brief and be sincere in your answers to questions…..redirect weak interviewer questions
into your strength areas. If asked “tell me about yourself” type questions, keep the information
you give to your business and job skills. If asked specifically if you have any hobbies or
outside of work interests, keep that VERY brief in your response.
If you are carrying any “baggage” with you to the interview from your current or previous job,
the hiring manager will pick up on that and may decide to pass on you. It’s best to NEVER bad
mouth your current or previous employer, even if the interviewer prods you to do so – which
could be a “red flag” for you about the interviewer or the company culture.
If they offer you water or coffee, accept, because interviews can be nervous times and you
don’t want a coughing or “dry mouth” issue during the interview.
If the interview is over a meal, order with common sense – get a salad and ice water. Never
order alcoholic drinks. No heavy pasta. Nothing expensive either.
If they ask you what you are making tell them accurately. Why? It’s a bit of a myth these days
that companies have some secret extra money they will hold back from you if you come in
with a low salary demand and by not telling them what you are earning or looking for, you may
have just put yourself into a category where they will assume you’re too expensive for them. In
addition, falsifying what you are earning can come back to hurt you if the company conducts a
background check that gets into earnings. Most often with sales positions, companies will want
to know about prior year earnings, but it is becoming more prevalent for all types of positions.
Handwritten thank you notes after the interview are still appropriate and should reference
something of a key note you discussed during the interview. Email thank yous are preferable to
no reply at all.
How long after the interview should you wait to follow up? When the interview is complete,
ask the interviewer when you would hear about next steps, then follow up 1 day after the date
they give you if you haven’t heard back from them. If they are open ended on when you might
expect to hear, follow up in a week.
Will you always hear back after an interview? Unfortunately no, you’ll probably need to follow
up. If you’re not selected for the position or even a second interview, ask the interviewer why?
If they level with you, you’ll have valuable feedback on your interviewing style, questions,
gaps etc to adjust for the next interview.
PHONE INTERVIEW SPECIFIC TIPS:
All of the above applies except for the face to face and location tips. In addition, for a phone
interview, be sure you have a quiet place away from kids, TV, barking dogs, etc to have this
important phone conversation.
Your answers will need to be even more to the point in a phone interview which is by design a
“culling out” call to take a larger group of possible candidates down to the few who will be
invited in for a face to face, so just the facts please unless the interviewer asks you to elaborate.
THE OFFER:
Congratulations!! By using the 20 leads a week method, you’ve landed a job offer within 90
days….now what?
If the offer tendered is within your expectations and you have completed your due diligence on
this new employer, ask for it in writing and ask when they would like to hear back from you,
but always take a few days to consider the offer….but not too long. A week is too long, 3 days
is perfect.
Can you negotiate? Sure, almost everything is negotiable, but be reasonable. If you’re feeling
like the offer is $10,000 under where you really wanted to be, say so….you may be able to get
the base salary up a bit, or arrange a sign-on bonus or a 6 month increase instead of an annual
increase. Be sure you know the benefits and time off parts of the offer because the lower salary
than what you hoped for may be offset by other factors.
If you have been with one employer for a long time and have earned a lot of vacation or time
off, you probably won’t get that from the new employer, but ask.
If you have a long commute to the new employer, ask about mileage or even a car allowance or
their work from home possibilities.
AFTER YOU START THE NEW JOB:
Update your resume immediately.
Send a note to everyone on your networking and reference list letting them know.
Thank your references.
If your boss does not give them to you, offer to set 90 day and/or 180 day goals with your new
boss that you mutually agree on.
Sign up for benefits on-time.
Be a job search or career change networking resource for anyone who asks.